Ranchi, 17th May 2020: TEDxKanke once again organized a TEDxKanke: Webinar Series. The title of the series was Skills & Strategy for the post corona world.
The Speaker was Dr M J Xavier ( Founding Director of IIM Ranchi )
Programme was moderated By: Vikash Hirani ( Moderator, TEDxKanke )
On expected recovery post the Coronavirus pandemic
• Trends from past pandemics provide vital guidance on possible transformation and recovery. We might see a U-Shaped recovery where the economy declines sharply. It will take about 2 years for states to recover which will be followed by a sharp rise in economy.
• Might also observe Y shaped – 2-pronged recovery where one set of industries will recover faster (retail, groceries, etc.) while one will be slow (such as airlines and tourism that have been hit hard and will take longer time to recover).
• Key factors in recovery to be consumer confidence (people who are less affected would be willing to spend more such as in India as compared with US or Europe where people have been affected more); younger demographic profile of India; proper management of relief packages with the prevention of social unrest; industry response and the speed at which the government can rebuild MSMEs and boost entrepreneurship.
On Impact of Lockdown
• More time for people to rediscover their talents and introspect on healthcare, the planet and general well-being. A movement of anti-consumerism could be on rise as consumers will be reluctant to engage in non-essential spending.
• Outlook towards environment and climate will evolve. Food habits might change to accommodate a healthier lifestyle.
• Wearing masks outside, work from home, virtual meetings, maintenance of hygiene at work and public places and digital purchasing will become a new norm.
• Job scenarios will change as there will be lesser job for the next two years. Degrees will become less relevant and focus would shift towards skill building. Salaries will decline as working hours increase.
• The demand would be higher for people with skills in healthcare and well-being, supply chain, social entrepreneurship and most importantly IT sector, owing to technology adoption by companies.
• Over a short time period, companies that could re-innovate and retarget their focus point would benefit, shifting to local, mid-range, essential goods and services and shifting focus of education and retail on e-platforms.
• In the long run, India has a huge advantage to change the trade scenario in the world, with manufacturing shifting away from China and a multitude of start-up opportunities opening up.
On the future of higher education with technology playing a pivotal role
• Education sector requires a reform since a long time. It has not progressed, and the current situation is an opportunity for education to reinvest itself. Online teaching is becoming a norm and a lot of courses might become a blend of physical and virtual teaching. Time can be utilized to work or intern along with face-to-face learning.
• Development of ecosystem should be a focus – like IITs and IIMs setting up things together. Students across these ecosystems can be taught similar courses by the best of the faculty. Faculty time is enhanced for research and regional development and students get more information and learning from the best. This helps address faculty shortage.
• Noblest idea – hop-on-hop-off education. Students need not join a 3- or 4-year course. They could pick up some course, then go back to learn in industry and then come back later for other courses – accumulation of credits over a period of time along with practical experience. Another agency can be set up for accrediting credits and courses can be taken anywhere in the country.
On effectiveness of tech in education – will people really study?
• Problems exist with doubts in the efficacy of technology. But positives are visible. Shy students are asking more doubts. More questions are being asked and engagement has increased. One-on-one education and mentoring have emerged.
• Possible for students to take it easy. The tech is available with AI systems and enhanced bandwidths can solve the monitoring issues of the online study pattern. Polling and quizzing could be a way to ensure people are participating in the entire class.
• Bar codes or other information can be displayed in between sessions that students have to note down or else miss marks on class participation.
• Faculty is the biggest problem. They refuse to relearn and enhance their knowledge, especially with technology. Only constant learners will survive in this market. Industries should decide what needs to be taught while research institutions set the research agenda – this must create the curriculum instead of just faculty designing them.
• Rural learning can increase if technology reaches them and last mile delivery is worked upon.
On online engagement
• Golden Rule for online engagement – do not speak for more than 5 minutes. Constant lecturing will dilute the attention.
• Different activities should be planned throughout the delivery of the lecture – from quizzes to in-group interactions and idea simulations. Utilizing white board features in virtual class and having students present solutions and other work could be enhance engagement.
What is the social impact of this kind of learning? We all learned interpersonal skills and acquired community living while studying in a school / college. What will happen to individual character? Will we end up with introverts and self-centered lot?
By Dr Narayan Bashyam, General Manager, Specon LLC
“Not recommending 100% virtual learning. A hybrid or blend has to be created. Group activities and working in teams can happen virtually and that needs to be leveraged in our institutional setup. There is a possibility to widen the networking opportunities and that will help in the community development from a global perspective. We can link up students from across the globe to work on similar projects and this can magnify the community development aspect.”
The confidence of people has reduced since the beginning of the lockdown, as the fear that arose at the start of the Coronavirus crisis continues with growing cases despite the lockdown. How can the confidence of people be brought back and what should the govt. do apart from loosening the restrictions? What kind of psychological support can be provided?
By Mr Sunil Barnwal, IAS, Govt. of Jharkhand
“What has been done so far has been done in a right way. What created fear was also the reason behind awareness of the seriousness of the disease and need of developing new habits – hygiene, sanitation, eating healthy food – especially in the middle and upper-middle class. However, the lower income groups have been more affected economically. To develop healthier habits for them is going to be harder.
Confidence building will happen gradually as the lockdown is lifted. People are ready to work but we need to ensure that the infection cases do not go upwards. People with stable income are more comfortable than urban poor and rural population. The latter groups need to get into the habit of hygiene which can happen only when money is put into their hands. The priority for them is sufficient meal and subsistence for survival. Therefore, once they have money then NGOs and govt. agencies can work on awareness campaigns on social distancing and hygiene.”
Info was given by Rajeev K Gupta
Curator – TEDxKanke